Mike Vick is making his first and only season of high school soccer well worth it.
The Los Gatos High senior is averaging a goal a game, including the lone tally in the Wildcats’ 1-0 win over Milpitas High on Jan. 26. The victory strengthened their position atop the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division standings.
Los Gatos entered this week’s action 9-2-2 overall and 6-0-1 in league, three points ahead of second-place Wilcox but having played one less contest. With only five league matches remaining, the Wildcats are in prime position to win the championship and lock up an automatic berth into the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Several players have made an impact, with Vick being a game-changing difference-maker. Due to club commitments with De Anza Force MLS Next, Vick wasn’t allowed to play for the high school squad until this season.
“I decided this year I really wanted to represent the school and play high school ball,” he said. “I know everybody on the team and the experience has been everything I expected and more. The coaches are amazing: Joel [Fumia], Rick [Morin] and Tomer [Meridor]. It’s a great group of guys, everybody is so committed and I would not have thinked high school soccer was going to be this an amazing experience to be honest.”
In November, Vick signed a letter of intent to play for Division I program Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. It was no surprise given that Cal Poly coach Oige Kennedy and Vick began talking to each early in Vick’s junior year, when Kennedy was then an assistant coach at Stanford.
“Mike is a quality soccer player who shows great composure on the ball. He’s someone that we’ve watched a lot over the past year and we’re excited he’s joining us next fall,” Kennedy said on Cal Poly’s athletics website. “We can already tell the passion Mike has for cal poly.”
Vick praised Kennedy and the Cal Poly program, and his decision was made relatively easy after he took a visit to the Cal Poly campus in March 2023.
“As soon as I stepped on campus, I kind of knew,” Vick said. “The area was beautiful, I had a great greeting by the players, it felt like I was at home, like a regular night in Los Gatos hanging out with my friends. It was great.”
A versatile player who is projected to play left back in college, Vick mans the central midfielder position for Los Gatos. Wherever Vick is playing, he’s adept at joining the attack and is particularly lethal in the open field. Vick was drawn to Cal Poly because of Kennedy’s coaching acumen and style of play.
“What Oige said he liked about my game was being able to get up the field and put in crosses,” Vick said. “In today’s modern game, left backs have to be able to get up the field and that’s what he wants, getting up as many people in the attack.”
When the Wildcats are threatening to score, Vick is often in the middle of the action. Fast and dangerous with the ball on his feet, Vick’s talent was on full display in the team’s first matchup with Monta Vista, a 3-2 victory.
Vick scored two goals and assisted on the third in what Vick called a “scrappy game from the start.” Both of Vick’s tallies came after dribbling past a couple of defenders near the top of the 18-yard box. When the match was level at 2-2, Vick delivered a free kick on frame that led to a rebound and Los Gatos goal.
“Probably one of our better wins of the season,” he said.
Admittedly, Los Gatos wasn’t at its best in the rematch vs. Monta Vista, which ended in a 1-1 draw on Jan. 24. However, the team responded nicely in the win over Milpitas.
“The second time vs. Monta Vista was kind of a rough game for us,” Vick said. “Probably should’ve won the game but soccer is soccer. We know we’re capable of beating them and we hold ourselves to a high standard. We thought that tie was a loss which is a great mentality to have. We had to get over the fact we tied and move on to the next game.”
The Wildcats are having their best season since the 2018-2019 campaign, when they won the upper De Anza Division championship and earned a berth in the Open Division playoffs. Vick was born in Galway, Ireland, before his family moved to the U.S. when he was 7 years old.
In his time in Ireland, Vick played several sports, including Gaelic football, hurling, golf and soccer. Once he arrived stateside, Vick started focusing on soccer. As the years went on, it became apparent Vick had the potential to eventually earn a Division I scholarship.
“I remember my first-ever word was ball, so maybe I was destined to play soccer,” he said.
As his prep playing days wind down, Vick would love nothing more than to lead Los Gatos to a CCS title. He’s known most of his teammates for years, including Louis Eldridge, as the two have attended the same school since the fifth grade.
“It’s been great, just to be on the same team as him,” Vick said. “A fun experience with him and a few others of couse. Dom (Zisa) is also a great friend of mine. To share the field with all of these guys is great. It’s like a dream come true.”